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Short Description
General-purpose ultra-configurable PHP images
Full Description

General purpose PHP images for Docker

This repository contains a set of developer-friendly, general purpose PHP images for Docker.

  • You can enable or disable the extensions using environment variables.
  • You can also modify the php.ini settings using environment variables.
  • 2 types available: slim (no extensions preloaded) or fat (most common PHP extensions are built-in)
  • 3 variants available: CLI, apache and fpm
  • Images are bundled with Supercronic which is a Cron compatible task runner. Cron jobs can be configured using environment variables
  • Images come with Composer and Prestissimo installed
  • All variants can be installed with or without NodeJS (if you need to build your static assets).
  • Everything is done to limit file permission issues that often arise when using Docker. The image is actively tested on Linux, Windows and MacOS


Name PHP version type variant NodeJS version Size
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache 7.2.x fat apache N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node6 7.2.x fat apache 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node8 7.2.x fat apache 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node10 7.2.x fat apache 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-fpm 7.2.x fat fpm N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-fpm-node6 7.2.x fat fpm 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-fpm-node8 7.2.x fat fpm 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-fpm-node10 7.2.x fat fpm 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-cli 7.2.x fat cli N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-cli-node6 7.2.x fat cli 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-cli-node8 7.2.x fat cli 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-cli-node10 7.2.x fat cli 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-apache 7.2.x slim apache N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-apache-node6 7.2.x slim apache 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-apache-node8 7.2.x slim apache 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-apache-node10 7.2.x slim apache 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-fpm 7.2.x slim fpm N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-fpm-node6 7.2.x slim fpm 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-fpm-node8 7.2.x slim fpm 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-fpm-node10 7.2.x slim fpm 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-cli 7.2.x slim cli N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-cli-node6 7.2.x slim cli 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-cli-node8 7.2.x slim cli 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-cli-node10 7.2.x slim cli 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-apache 7.1.x fat apache N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-apache-node6 7.1.x fat apache 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-apache-node8 7.1.x fat apache 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-apache-node10 7.1.x fat apache 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-fpm 7.1.x fat fpm N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-fpm-node6 7.1.x fat fpm 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-fpm-node8 7.1.x fat fpm 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-fpm-node10 7.1.x fat fpm 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-cli 7.1.x fat cli N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-cli-node6 7.1.x fat cli 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-cli-node8 7.1.x fat cli 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-cli-node10 7.1.x fat cli 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-apache 7.1.x slim apache N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-apache-node6 7.1.x slim apache 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-apache-node8 7.1.x slim apache 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-apache-node10 7.1.x slim apache 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-fpm 7.1.x slim fpm N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-fpm-node6 7.1.x slim fpm 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-fpm-node8 7.1.x slim fpm 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-fpm-node10 7.1.x slim fpm 10.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-cli 7.1.x slim cli N/A
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-cli-node6 7.1.x slim cli 6.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-cli-node8 7.1.x slim cli 8.x
thecodingmachine/php:7.1-v2-slim-cli-node10 7.1.x slim cli 10.x

Note: we do not tag patch releases of PHP, only minor versions. You will find one image for PHP 7.1, one for PHP 7.2,
but no tagged image for PHP 7.1.12. This is because we believe you have no valid reason to ask explicitly for 7.1.12.
When 7.1.13 is out, you certainly want to upgrade automatically to this patch release since patch releases contain only bugfixes.

Images are automatically updated when a new patch version of PHP is released, so the PHP 7.1 image will always contain
the most up-to-date version of the PHP 7.1.x branch. If you want to automatically update your images on your production
environment, you can use tools like watchtower that will monitor new versions of
the images and update your environment on the fly.


These images are based on the official PHP image.

Example with CLI:

$ docker run -it --rm --name my-running-script -v "$PWD":/usr/src/app thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-cli php your-script.php

Example with Apache:

$ docker run -p 80:80 --rm --name my-apache-php-app -v "$PWD":/var/www/html thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache

Example with PHP-FPM:

$ docker run -p 9000:9000 --rm --name my-php-fpm -v "$PWD":/var/www/html thecodingmachine/7.2-v2-fpm

Example with Apache + Node 8.x in a Dockerfile:


FROM thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node8

COPY src/ /var/www/html/
RUN composer install
RUN npm install
RUN npm run build

Extensions available

This image comes with 2 "types": the slim and the fat image.

The slim image contains no extensions. But it provides a simple way to install them. You would typically use the "slim"
image in a Dockerfile when building your own custom image.

The fat image contains the most commonly used extensions. You would typically use it in a local or CI environment.

Compiled extensions

For both types, these extensions are compiled in PHP (cannot be disabled): mbstring ftp mysqlnd

Fat image

Below is a list of extensions available in this image:

Enabled by default: apcu mysqli opcache pdo pdo_mysql redis zip soap

Available (can be enabled using environment variables): amqp ast bcmath blackfire bz2 calendar dba enchant ev event exif gd gettext gmp gnupg igbinary imagick imap intl ldap mcrypt memcached mongodb pcntl pdo_dblib pdo_pgsql pgsql pspell shmop snmp sockets sysvmsg sysvsem sysvshm tidy wddx weakref(-beta) xdebug xmlrpc xsl yaml

Enabling/disabling extensions in the fat image

You can enable/disable extensions using the PHP_EXTENSION_[extension_name] environment variable.

For instance:

version: '3'
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node8
      # Enable the PostgreSQL extension
      # Disable the Mysqli extension (otherwise it is enabled by default)

As an alternative, you can use the PHP_EXTENSIONS global variable:

PHP_EXTENSIONS=pgsql gettext imap sockets

Compiling extensions in the slim image

If you are using the slim image, you can automatically compile the extensions using the PHP_EXTENSIONS ARG in your Dockerfile.

ARG PHP_EXTENSIONS="apcu mysqli opcache pdo pdo_mysql redis zip soap"
FROM thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-slim-apache
# The build will automatically trigger the download and compilation
# of the extensions (thanks to a ONBUILD hook in the slim image)

Beware! The ARG PHP_EXTENSIONS command must be written before the FROM. This is not a typo.

Note: the slim image comes with literally no extensions. Not even "opcache" which is definitely useful performance-wise.
We highly recommend to install at least the "opcache" extension.

Setting parameters in php.ini

By default, the base php.ini file used is the development php.ini file that comes with PHP.

You can use the production php.ini file using the TEMPLATE_PHP_INI environment variable:

# Use the production php.ini file as a base

You can override parameters in php.ini using the PHP_INI_XXX environment variables:

version: '3'
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node8
      # set the parameter memory_limit=1g
      # set the parameter error_reporting=EALL

Absolutely all php.ini parameters can be set.

Internally, the image will map all environment variables starting with PHP_INI_.

If your php.ini parameter contains a dot ("."), you can replace it with a double underscore ("__").

For instance:

# Will set the parameter xdebug.remote_autostart=1

Default working directory

The working directory (the directory in which you should mount/copy your application) depends on the image variant
you are using:

Variant Working directory
cli /usr/src/app
apache /var/www/html
fpm /var/www/html

Changing Apache document root

For the apache variant, you can change the document root of Apache (i.e. your "public" directory) by using the

# The root of your website is in the "public" directory:

Enabling/disabling Apache extensions

You can enable/disable Apache extensions using the APACHE_EXTENSION_[extension_name] environment variable.

For instance:

version: '3'
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node8
      # Enable the DAV extension for Apache
      # Enable the SSL extension for Apache

As an alternative, you can use the APACHE_EXTENSIONS global variable:


Apache modules enabled by default: access_compat, alias, auth_basic, authn_core, authn_file, authz_core, authz_host, authz_user, autoindex, deflate, dir, env, expires, filter, mime, mpm_prefork, negotiation, php7, reqtimeout, rewrite, setenvif, status

Apache modules available: access_compat, actions, alias, allowmethods, asis, auth_basic, auth_digest, auth_form, authn_anon, authn_core, authn_dbd, authn_dbm, authn_file, authn_socache, authnz_fcgi, authnz_ldap, authz_core, authz_dbd, authz_dbm, authz_groupfile, authz_host, authz_owner, authz_user, autoindex, buffer, cache, cache_disk, cache_socache, cgi, cgid, charset_lite, data, dav, dav_fs, dav_lock, dbd, deflate, dialup, dir, dump_io, echo, env, ext_filter, file_cache, filter, headers, heartbeat, heartmonitor, ident, include, info, lbmethod_bybusyness, lbmethod_byrequests, lbmethod_bytraffic, lbmethod_heartbeat, ldap, log_debug, log_forensic, lua, macro, mime, mime_magic, mpm_event, mpm_prefork, mpm_worker, negotiation, php7, proxy, proxy_ajp, proxy_balancer, proxy_connect, proxy_express, proxy_fcgi, proxy_fdpass, proxy_ftp, proxy_html, proxy_http, proxy_scgi, proxy_wstunnel, ratelimit, reflector, remoteip, reqtimeout, request, rewrite, sed, session, session_cookie, session_crypto, session_dbd, setenvif, slotmem_plain, slotmem_shm, socache_dbm, socache_memcache, socache_shmcb, speling, ssl, status, substitute, suexec, unique_id, userdir, usertrack, vhost_alias, xml2enc


To enable XDebug, you simply have to set the environment variable:


If you enable XDebug, the image will do its best to configure the xdebug.remote_host to point back to your Docker host.

Behind the scenes, the image will:

  • set the parameter xdebug.remote_enable=1
  • if you are using a Linux or Windows machine, the xdebug.remote_host IP will point to your Docker gateway
  • if you are using a MaxOS machine, the xdebug.remote_host IP will point to docker.for.mac.localhost


Ever faced file permission issues with Docker? Good news, this is a thing of the past!

If you are used to running Docker containers with the base PHP image, you probably noticed that when running commands
(like composer install) within the container, files are associated to the root user. This is because the base user
of the image is "root".

When you mount your project directory into /var/www/html, it would be great if the default user used by Docker could
be your current host user.

The problem with Docker is that the container and the host do not share the same list of users. For instance, you might
be logged in on your host computer as superdev (ID: 1000), and the container has no user whose ID is 1000.

The thecodingmachine/php images solve this issue with a bit of black magic:

The image contains a user named docker. On container startup, the startup script will look at the owner of the
working directory (/var/www/html for Apache/PHP-FPM, or /usr/src/app for CLI). The script will then assume that
you want to run commands as this user. So it will dynamically change the ID of the docker user to match the ID of
the current working directory user.

Furthermore, the image is changing the Apache default user/group to be docker/docker (instead if www-data/www-data).
So Apache will run with the same rights as the user on your host.

The direct result is that, in development:

  • Your PHP application can edit any file
  • Your container can edit any file
  • You can still edit any file created by Apache or by the container in CLI

Using this image in production

By changing the Apache user to be docker:docker, we are lowering the security.
This is OK for a development environment, but this should be avoided in production.
Indeed, in production, Apache should not be allowed to edit PHP files of your application. If for some reason, an
attacker manages to change PHP files using a security hole, he could then run any PHP script by editing the PHP files
of your application.

In production, you want to change back the Apache user to www-data.

This can be done easily:


FROM thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache

# ...

# Change back Apache user and group to www-data

Setting up CRON jobs

You can set up CRON jobs using environment variables too.

To do this, you need to configure 3 variables:

# configure the user that will run cron (defaults to root)
# configure the schedule for the cron job (here: run every minute)
# last but not least, configure the command
CRON_COMMAND=vendor/bin/console do:stuff

By default, CRON output will be redirected to Docker output.

If you have more than one job to run, you can suffix your environment variable with the same string. For instance:

CRON_SCHEDULE_1=* * * * *
CRON_COMMAND_1=vendor/bin/console do:stuff

CRON_SCHEDULE_2=0 3 * * *
CRON_COMMAND_2=vendor/bin/console other:stuff

Important: The cron runner we use is "Supercronic" and not the orginial "cron" that has a number of issues
with containers. Even with Supercronic, the architecture of cron was never designed with Docker in mind
(Cron is way older than Docker). It will run correctly on your container. If at some point you want to scale and add
more containers, it will run on all your containers. At that point, if you only want to run a Cron task once for your
application (and not once per container), you might want to have a look at alternative solutions like
Tasker or use the native features of your orchestrator (if you use Kubernetes,
you have a native task runner available), or one of the many other alternatives.

Launching commands on container startup

You can launch commands on container startup using the STARTUP_COMMAND_XXX environment variables.
This can be very helpful to install dependencies or apply database patches for instance:

STARTUP_COMMAND_1=composer install
STARTUP_COMMAND_2=vendor/bin/doctrine orm:schema-tool:update 

As an alternative, the images will look into the container for an executable file named /etc/container/

If such a file is mounted in the image, it will be executed on container startup.

docker run -it --rm --name my-running-script -v "$PWD":/usr/src/myapp -w /usr/src/myapp \ 
       -v $PWD/ thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-cli php your-script.php 

Registering SSH private keys

If your PHP project as a dependency on a package stored in a private GIT repository,
your composer install commands will not work unless you register your private key in the container.

You have several options to do this.

Option 1: mount your keys in the container directly

This option is the easiest way to go if you are using the image on a development environment.


version: '3'
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache-node8
      - ~/.ssh:/home/docker/.ssh

Option 2: store the keys from environment variables or build arguments

Look at this option if you are building a Dockerfile from this image.

The first thing to do is to get the signature of the server you want to connect to.

$ ssh-keyscan

Copy the output and put it in an environment variable. We assume the content is stored in $SSH_KNOWN_HOSTS.

Now, let's write a Dockerfile.


FROM thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache


# Let's register the private key
RUN ssh-add <(echo "$SSH_PRIVATE_KEY")
# Let's add the server to the list of known hosts.
RUN echo "$SSH_KNOWN_HOSTS" >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts

Finally, when triggering the build, you must pass the 2 variables as build arguments:

$ docker build -t my_image --build-arg SSH_PRIVATE_KEY="$SSH_PRIVATE_KEY" --build-arg SSH_KNOWN_HOSTS="$SSH_KNOWN_HOSTS" .

Usage in Kubernetes

If you plan to use this image in Kubernetes, please be aware that the image internally uses sudo. This is because the
default user (docker) needs to be able to edit php config files as root.

Kubernetes has a security setting (allowPrivilegeEscalation) that can disallow the use of sudo. The use of this flag
breaks the image and in the logs, you will find the message:

sudo: effective uid is not 0, is /usr/bin/sudo on a file system with the 'nosuid' option set or an NFS file system without root privileges?

Please be sure that this option is never set to false:

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
# ...
  - name: foobar
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache
      allowPrivilegeEscalation: true # never use "false" here.

Profiling with Blackfire

This image comes with the Blackfire PHP probe. You can install it using:


By default, the image expects that the blackfire agent is started in another container.

Your docker-compose.yml file will typically look like this:


version: '3.3'
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache
      - "80:80"
    image: blackfire/blackfire
        # Exposes the host BLACKFIRE_SERVER_ID and TOKEN environment variables.
        # You can also use global environment credentials :

See Blackfire Docker documentation for more information.

The image assumes that the Blackfire agent is accessible via the blackfire URL (like in the exemple above).
If for some reason, the container name is not "blackfire", you can customize the agent URL with the BLACKFIRE_AGENT environment variable:


version: '3.3'
    image: thecodingmachine/php:7.2-v2-apache
      BLACKFIRE_AGENT: myblackfire
    # ...
    image: blackfire/blackfire
        # ...


There is one branch per minor PHP version and version of the image.

Please submit your pull requests to the lowest branch where is applies.

The Dockerfiles and the README are generated from a template using Orbit.

If you want to modify a Dockerfile or the README, you should instead edit the utils/Dockerfile.blueprint
or utils/ and then run the command:

$ orbit run generate

This command will generate all the files from the "blueprint" templates.

You can then test your changes using the command:

PHP_VERSION=7.2 BRANCH=v2 VARIANT=apache.node10 ./

Special thanks

These images have been strongly inspired by tetraweb/php.

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